The past and the present, the different perspectives of the action plot, and those of the romantic plot must travel along their respective paths until they combine to drive the novel to its climax; then to the denouement beyond. For me to get it right, I have to impose structure from the very beginning - no pantsing a first draft this time.
Now that I've studied and practiced the technique of counterpoint, I can compose the novel with purpose and confidence; boldly going where, just a short time ago, I had feared to tread. (How's that for mixing cliched metaphors?) That I am pushing the boundaries of what I know I can do is an understatement. Still, with eye firmly cocked, I'm optimistic that I can pull it off. I hope my musician friend would be proud. This is going to be fun!
I took the first step that led me down this path when I discovered that one of the main characters is lost in a fugue... ;-D